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Quite confused. Could I be a rubbish mum?

(41 Posts)
pamelat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:05:41

I was going to name change for this but have decided to be upfront. Afterall I dont think its anything too bad, just a bit embarassing maybe.

I love my 12 month old DD to peices. Sometimes I wonder whether its possible to love her too much though. I have always been quite high maintenance emotionally, giving and receving.

My parents, especially my dad, are very emotional people. Always telling us (me and my brother) how much they love us, how much we mean to them etc. This is lovely, but as a result I have come to think this is normal in other areas of life.

DH is not an overtly emotional person, which probably does me some good!

DD (IMO) has been hard work. Firstly she had colic, then reflux, then sleep issues and now she is an adorable little monkey but with very high energy levels (as I am sure most 12 months are!). As an example, whenever we go out in a mummy/baby group, I am always the mum having to run around the room or stand holding a fretting baby. She likes to join in and is a very brave little mite (unlike me).

I will call her high spirited!! A bit like me.

She really is fantastic but I find her draining (am going back to work next week, part time).

I have started to think (not even worry really but just to actually think it) that I am not a very good mum?

I have started to wonder (well I thought it a while back really) whether maybe she is not demanding or high energy but that its just me that finds it difficult to cope/keep up with her.

My friends have said that I am a great mum. I am always that person joining in, climbing through tunnels and singing songs to DD but in reality I find it very tiring and really I just want to sit down and have a cup of tea. I am looking forward to DD being a little older so that she does not require constant supervision hmm.

More notably, whenever I am around my in laws I find that I feel I am a rubbish mum. My in laws grow their own vegetables and make all of their food from scratch, I sometimes give DD fish fingers and beans (writing this now I feel a bit silly but sad at the same time). Sometimes I would like to be "Super mum" but it just isnt me.

DD is spending the night at in laws this evening and I am worrying about what to make for her tea this afternoon so that they will think I am a "good" mum. She has lots of fruit and veg but it all tends to be quick things, like boil some brocolli, mash some potato and feed her blue berries. Hardly Nigella!

I am hoping that when I go back to work I might be a "better" mum.

I love her to peices but sometimes I feel that she is so independent (except when feeling clingy) that maybe she is not that bothered about me. This morning I was trying to dress her (she hates that at the moment) and she started crying, I carried on dressing her and she got very angry and started to throw herself around (which makes it difficult to hold her) and then she turned and pushed my face away and started laughing. I am aware that its strange to think that maybe my DD wants to hurt me, but she definately finds it funny to try to scratch my face or poke my eyes. I tell her "no" and try to carry on but she can almost over power me, which I feel is a ridiculous thing to say about a 12 month old.

I feel that when I go back to work next week (and DH will have her 3 days a week (he was mmade redundant over Christmas) that she will love him more than me, and then I feel bad for making it sound like a competition as i know its not about that and that of course I want her to love her dad as much as me. I just feel that I will not be needed sad

So I say all this feeling quite confused as I am aware that I am being silly but I genuinely feel a bit rubbish/selfish and I can feel myself backing away defensively. sad

staryeyed Fri 30-Jan-09 13:10:31

It sounds like your putting way to much pressure on yourself. If she is generally happy and healthy then you are a good mum doing a good job. You dont have to be supermum- Im not even sure that they exist just a lot of people pretending to do it all have it all etc. Give yourself a break. Enjoy your time you have with her and let her have some independence.

Tortington Fri 30-Jan-09 13:13:54

i did everything, job, university, school run and housework

then when we moved down south, jobs were such that dh had to take the kid and pick the up from school, they were about 9 at the time.

suddenly, they were calling dfor 'dad' not mum, it really hurt me - and i knew it was daft,irrational and stupid but still it was a real feeling

the upshot is, that your not a bad mum becuase bad mums never think they are bad mums.

so what if you give her fishfingers or acdonalds or anything the foodpolice would shoot you for.

who gives a shit

your whole life and your childrens lives will come down to this


when your dead, they wont remember fishfingers, they will remember the time you had a water fight in the garden
think on and create memories

JumpingDizzy Fri 30-Jan-09 13:14:17

When you give birth to the placenta they insert the guilt wink

You sound great to me, stop fretting and enjoy her. She'll soon settle down it's just her age. DS2 was an absolute nightmare compared to her. He'd be the one hitting the kids at toddlers (very hard too)

pamelat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:14:31

Yep she seems happy, except whenever she isnt allowed something that she wants (like a hot cup of tea)!

Yesterday though we went to a sing along at the library. 34 children, most were about her age and she was the only one that insisted on climbing on the ladies doing the singing at the front, trying to get the puppet doll and then climbing over every other child to take their toys.

Sometimes I would be happier to leave her to it and sit down but I get disapproving looks from other mums so I seem to be constantly fetching her back or worrying about what she is about to do (ie hit a newborn over the head with a toy?!)

Its more than no one eles child seems to do this so then I am wonder whether I am doing something wrong?

12StoneNeedsToBe10 Fri 30-Jan-09 13:15:47

what staryeyed said. One thing that jumped out at me - I always like to cook from scratch if I can (just because I love cooking) but fishfingers butties on white bread with ketchup... mmmmm can't beat it grin
Don't beat yourself up - when DS was small at toddler groups I'd see other mums crawling through tunnels after their LOs and thought they were amazing. To my shame I just couldn't be arsed, I did enough running around at home.

Hassled Fri 30-Jan-09 13:16:52

Calm down! You sound like a superb, caring mother. So sometimes you want to sit down and have a cup of tea rather than climb through tunnels? That's just called being normal. Occasionally you want a break from the relentlessness of a 1 year old? There would be something seriously unusual if you didn't. Put things in perspective.

And as for beating yourself up because rather than grow your own veg you only feed her broccoli and blueberries - sorry, but you're being ridiculous.

You are doing a good job, and the best you can - which is all you can expect from anyone. Just enjoy her, and have fun.

IAteMakkaPakka Fri 30-Jan-09 13:18:21

You are doing nothing wrong. You have a bright, energetic livewire there - that's not a bad thing (just fecking exhausting!). And my goodness, if the worst thought you have ever had ever had about your child was that you just want to sit down and have a cup of tea in peace, I salute you!

samsonthecat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:20:49

No you are not doing any thing wrong. Thats just how she is. She sounds lovely, just like my DD1 who is 4 now. I was always worried why my child seemed so much harder work than others but now she is lovely, bright, funny, friendly and very secure and confident. Trust me you are a good mum, just enjoy your daughter and forget every one else.

harpomarx Fri 30-Jan-09 13:21:48

As the mother of a fairly clingy child - I would be really proud if my daughter insisted on climbing on people etc! She sounds great, full of spirit. Don't beat yourself up and don't sweat the food stuff - mash, broccoli and blueberries sounds fine for a baby.

Do your in-laws actually criticize you about that, surely not!
And a childhood without fishfingers and beans is an incomplete one wink

daftbat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:21:55

Hi. I don't think you are a bad mum. We all think strange things (at least all the mums I've been brave enough to talk about these things to, do!)

I went back to work much sooner than you and felt such a relief at being in a grown up environment, with things I can control. At least if I asked someone to do something they could not just ignore me or scratch me! Not so at home, is it? I think your DH will start to understand your issues v soon.

Some mums ADORE being with children and love watching them squidge food through their hair and clothes. I was not one of those mums! It does not make me bad, just different. Same goes for you.

DD1 is now 8, DD2 2 and DD1 nearly 1. Just because I found the baby stage hard at times, it didn't put my off doing it again - eventually - and there has been no going back.

So what if your meals aren't nigella? My DDs have always refused Annabel Karvel meals and eaten most of mine: most rewarding! As long as they eat a balanced diet, who cares?

I combined working full time with being a mum first time round and it was probably easier than staying at home, for me. I was worried that my DD would transfer her affections but I was always special to her. I have found that it is the one they spend least time with that they cherish most (although they do go generally, to the one they spend most time with if they are hurt - don't sweat it)

Someone left my office saying they couldn't work part time and be a mum - and they felt bad because they were not supermum like me: and I was the one feeling I was bad for spending less time with my DD! So it seems we all have our hangups whatever we do. Just live with them and know others are probably feeling the same.

Perhaps you are actually doing too much with DD and you should let yourself have that cup of tea sometime?

Good luck wit hteh future smile

pamelat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:24:18

Thank you, you have all made me cry but in a good way. Maybe I am just feeling a bit rubbish, thank you smile

I know the brocolli and blue berry thing is stupid, but they are about the best thing I give her and DH (who because he lost his job is around at home a lot more) has commented on how I dont actually make her anything anymore (normally because we are out all day and then 5pm takes me by suprise) and he has "joked" that it will be different when I am back at work and he is in control and that he will make her fish pie and they will spend the afternoon baking.

She does sometimes seem more placid with everyone other than me hmm but I guess I am someone who is just always there, boring I guess!

Thank you

PS) Maybe I do put too much pressure on myself. I normally study with the OU so evenings were always a write off but I have had to take 6 months out as it all got a bit much, and now I feel bad for not studing. FGS, maybe I need a glass of wine, later of course! hmm

sweetblossom Fri 30-Jan-09 13:25:08

You are being too hard on yourself, you are in self doubt as you are changing things by going back to work part time. That is very natural. I really do not think your little one is out to hurt you but one year old babies are so demanding and head strong they can control the house.
Every mummy has insecurities on the job they are doing especially with first baby. Listen broccolli,potatoes, and fishfingers are all nutritious I find if I make more of an effort maing dinner the less they eat it.
Most supermums I have met have been a pain in the neck, and their children will probably end up in therapy.Your friends have told you you are a great mum so start believing

HeadFairy Fri 30-Jan-09 13:26:07

I'm no parenting guru, having only one ds who's 16 months, but if you're a bad parent then so am I. I quite often give ds fish fingers, they're full of omega three and baked beans are a great source of protein and they count as one of their 5 a day so don't beat yourself up about things like that.

I too have a very boisterous ds, my sister used to pooh pooh that he was different to her dd's but he is, we put it down to him being a boy, but I think there are just boisterous children. DS never stops, he breaks just about everything he touches, he charges around like a loon most of the time. It's normal, be glad you've got a child with some spirit.

As for the scratching thing, ds does that too, he thinks its hilarious to whack me around the face. I'm sure I'll be flamed by the parenting police, but when ds is too rough with me I pretend to cry and he rushes over and gives me a hug. I then make sure he's got my attention and say "thank you sweetheart, now don't scratch mummy again please". I'm hoping that one day soon it'll sink in. In the meantime I'm covered in scratches

HeadFairy Fri 30-Jan-09 13:29:14

As for your dd being better behaved with your dh... I think that's the novelty thing. When he's looking after her full time he may find that changes. DH is always so smug when ds eats with him having refused to accept anything from me, but when I'm working and dh has him all day ds often refuses to eat anything at all. It's just who's boss that day, and who he can rebel against. I'm sure it's about testing boundaries, and once your dd has worked out the boundaries with your dh, she'll be pushing them too.

lilacclaire Fri 30-Jan-09 13:30:10

You sound like a good mum, nothing wrong with fishfingers and beans, brocolli is a staple veg in my house also!
I find ds draining as well, he is very boisterious and yes of course I love him to bits, I think its the lack of 'me' time that gets to you now and then all the time, your certainly not alone and all kids think its funny to contort their bodies when your trying to dress them and of course inflicting gbh on the parent is a normal pastime!!
Your doing a great job, sounds like you've got the wobbles about going back to work as well, like someone else said you'll feel guilty no matter what you do. Enjoy! grin

pamelat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:32:00

Thank you, maybe she is just a live wire (my MIL had said that she was not which made me think maybe only I find her to be, but i swear she behaves differently around other people?!)

She one scratched my face so badly that my dad took me aside and asked me about it (he must have thought I had been in a fight hmm) Once I explained it was DD, all was well.

Since then I have been sure to cut her finger nails more often!

I feel better for just having aired my feelings on here, thank you. In RL it would have made me feel a failure, here everyone is so honest smile

pamelat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:32:56

PS) MIL did say that "once DD goes to nursery she will eat a lot more varied food". Which is true but makes you feel a bit inadequate really, well me anyway.

lilacclaire Fri 30-Jan-09 13:33:42

Oh, I might add that my DS is an absolute angel for others! Infuriating, isn't it!!

lilacclaire Fri 30-Jan-09 13:34:39

If she doesn't look pale and ill then I would say her diet is fine.

MarlaSinger Fri 30-Jan-09 13:35:16

custardo - thank you - that made me cry.

I fret sometimes when DS has beans and bloody fish fingers for dinner again, I wonder if my child is odd for being louder and more hectic than the other babies, I worry about his development when I read of babies way younger than him perfecting their stacking skills, basically I worry from when we are up until he goes to bed, and then I worry that I did it all wrong today and I will try harder tomorrow...

So yeah I know how you feel.

pamelat Fri 30-Jan-09 13:47:58

No one explains how emotional/draining being a parent is. I often feel quite over whelmed by it all.

DH also loves her but says that he is able to switch off, for example, if we go to visit GP's but I seem to constantly be aware of what she is doing, what she made need and then I worry that maybe I am crowding her. I obviously do let her do stuff for herself, but its always with me watching her.

I try to hang back but I find it hard.

Today she crawled up 6 steps to a slide and then came down it (with me next to the slide) by herself with lots of 3 and 4 year olds (who she pushed out of the way to get to the front, madam blush) I apologised to the other children! I am very proud of her (I was a very timid child).

mumof2222222222222222boys Fri 30-Jan-09 13:48:40

You sound like an utterly normal mum! Good luck with it all.

Thinking about the scratch, I was having a chat with a mum at work (she has a 2 year old), and she told me that the 2 year old had head butted her (lovely black eye!), but that she'd had some funny looks from people on the tube! My 2 year old has done it too, but fortunately nothing too visible.

I love cooking from scratch - it is my hobby (other than last night when we had fish and chips!), but as for being a bad mum, I hardly ever cook the boys anything now as they are full time at nursery. I am a bit sad, especially when they tell me my roasts aren't a patch on Nursery's (they are bloody good I assure you!!!), but on balance, life is good.

HeadFairy Fri 30-Jan-09 13:55:53

dh says that he can do that whole switching off thing... in dh speak that means he can sit on the computer and do his fantasy football while ds tears around destroying the house, while when I'm on my own with ds I sit down with him and play games and entertain him so he doesn't destroy the house. It doesn't make you a bad parent that you care about what your dd is up to. Everywhere I go I spend running after ds, dragging him away from things and people. Dh would just let him rip!

LadyG Fri 30-Jan-09 13:56:28

Honestly? I think you are a fantastic mum but have had too little time to yourself or too few other things to focus on and have lost perspective. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. So some people enjoy growing their own veg and cooking everything from scratch-accept any offerings gratefully and carry on. If you do cook make double and freeze in little tubs to reheat for those 5 O clock-'Oh my god what do I feed the baby' moments.
And enjoy enjoy enjoy your crazy little one year old-my eldest has just got his school place letter and it seems like yesterday he was just like yours Play tea parties so you can have your cup of tea and give her a tiny bit diluted in milk in her cup-won't kill her. Doctors is another good game involves mummy lying on the floor while being 'examined' with one of those little toy doctors kits. Being dug out of an avalanche (the duvet) was another fun one in the morning. Finding the whole thing exhausting frustrating bewildering and plain boring are normal normal normal parts of parenthood and anyone who tells you otherwise is a lunatic.

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